New here-My 19 yo old son moved out-I'm heartbroken & scared.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Signorina, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    My oldest-a college soph- moved out Monday night against our wishes.

    He's always been a bit impetuous and a tad narcissistic. Usually a good kid and pleasant to be around. He did some experimenting with drugs & alcohol at 16, but we got him into counseling and he thrived his junior & senior years in HS. His future looked great when he started college.

    We had many red flags over the summer break-dismal grades which he had lied to us about, a generally snide attitude towards us, *he came home stoned his first night of break, he rented an off campus apartment (for the upcoming year) without our knowledge, etc-all things that could individually be excused as typical until they started to form a pattern. We think he rented the apartment w no intention of telling us he was not living in the dorms. We gave him the benefit of the doubt, offered to pay the rent, tried to go with it even though we knew it was a bad idea.

    The final undeniable last straw was monday afternoon, when I spied an amazon order of rolling papers, grinder, rolling machine, a scale! etc he placed online monday to be shipped to his new apartment. We all know what a scale indicates...

    There was no way we could send him back to school with all these red flags. We asked him to stay home, go to work, go to school locally and agree to counseling and start fresh. No judgments, no yelling-just that we couldn't support his choice to go away. He refused, said horrible things to us and left for good. He stated he was going back to college without our help.

    We can't stop him. I have no idea how he will legally pay his tuition or apartment without our financial support. I contacted the dean but there's nothing she can do besides talk to him IF he is willing.

    We've reiterated that our home and our family is open to him so long as he lives by our rules. He scoffed. Basically we're "horrible parents, totally not with it, (other parents are cool with pot, it's legal in some states, etc) we're a totally dysfunctional family, it's my fault for snooping, blah blah blah. " In all honesty,I spent most of the summer "looking the other way" until it became impossible to ignore. (I should note that at my insistence he did see his counselor for 3 sessions this summer.)

    My heart is broken. Been crying for 24 hours straight. Once I found the amazon order-I knew I couldn't let him go back to school. Now he's isolated us completely (he left his phone on our doorstep) and will be400 miles away regardless-with no contact or safety nets. I'm so scared.

    I wish I had looked the other way and I know that's naive. I need some reassurance-or if not-some other steps to take.
     
  2. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    You did the right thing. Pot is never a good sign--in young people, always a bad sign--and always suggests the use of other drugs (ask anyone who's ever smoked it with any regularity, as I did in my youth: it truly is a gateway drug). The purchase of the scale is particularly ominous--buyers don't need a scale, but sellers do. In any event, refusal to live by household rules settles the matter: putting him out was your only option, and the correct decision. "Looking the other way" is always ruinous--this sort of thing needs to be confronted head-on and emphatically. You made the right call.

    I worry about the combination of his lack of money for tuition/expenses and the purchase of that scale, if you gather my meaning. But he's 19 and is accountable for his decisions as a legal adult. And given what he's done, he doesn't deserve and shouldn't receive parental help with expenses or tuition--he's on his own, by his choice.
     
  3. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I feel you did the right thing, too. How did he pay for the Amazon order? Hopefully he doesn't have access to any of your credit card info or passwords to accounts of yours. He is trying to put the blame on you. Most difficult children don't see it as their fault. It is always everyone else causing the problems. I know it really hurts but you are helping your son with how you handled the situation. Hugs to you.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you had looked the other way, you would have just made his drug use easier. My daughter had been a serious drug addict (she quit). She has given me some words of wisdom: A few being that kids will cop to pot, but usually won't tell their parents they are also using other drugs too, but often they do. And the parents don't believe THEIR child would use more than just pot/alcohol. She gave me several examples, including myself. It turned out, she had also used meth quite heavily as well as experimenting with anything she could snort. It scared me that she could pull the wool over our eyes. Another thing: People who use drugs, sell drugs. That's how they get money for drugs. Also, nobody will quit until they are ready. Nobody can make them...it's hard.

    I don't think it's good parenting to let a kid destroy his life and watch it happen. We made our daughter leave. That's when she got it together. I also can't see paying for college when he is obviously just going to party and probably flunk out. That's a lot of money down the drain.

    In short...I know how hard it is...we had to do it too. It really hurts. But I think you did the only thing you could have done. Now it's HIS choice which path he wants to take. And that path could change. We stopped giving daughter money. She managed. She got a job :) Good luck and hugggggz!
     
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thanks everyone. I got this email this morning;
    Mom-

    Dad just texted x (his girlfriend) saying I needed to contact you. I wanted to let you know that I'm fine, and I'm going to stay in university-town and go to school here because this is what's best for my future as far as my education and life. *As long as "this university" is off the table, I do not think we can come to a compromise.Love, difficult child

    My answer:
    My dear difficult child

    I truly wish you much luck and success this semester. There is nothing I hope and pray for more than for you to make the most of your educational opportunity and *achieve success both personally and scholastically. Please stay in touch once in a while so I *know you are ok. I love you with all of my heart.

    If you change your mind-always *know that your home is here awaiting you. I will miss you greatly. The lines of communication are always open. You may leave us but we will never stop loving you. Never ever. My heart is broken in a million pieces. Stay safe my dear son, be wise and careful. I love you so. Love, mom

    It wasn't the answer I wanted to write. That one is 2 pages long and would likely push him further away. I just needed to answer (after 3 hours) and and not inflame this
    any further. Of course he is only welcome home on our terms but I am hoping that is implied. Should it happen, I will make it clear before he crosses the threshold.
     
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Just my thought?

    If you LET a manipulative child see your feelings and emotion? You can bet most will easily assume they own you.

    Everytime in my life that someone has been less than kind no matter what to me? It's a brick in my wall between me and them. I ask myself HOW many times do you walk away and come back before the last brick in your wall hits you hard enough in the head to either stay away from the wall or get a hard hat.

    Get yourself a book called TOUGH LOVE.....and learn the 101 techniques archived here on how to detach. - HELPS a bunch to picture all of the wise women here standing behind you when you do make those "mommy" heart decisions thinking you've done the best thing for the child......and in your mind you can picture the women here shaking their heads, throwing up their hands, rolling their eyes, bonking themselves on the head with imaginary hammers.....Really makes you more wise and teaches you to think with your head, not your heart.

    Your letter? Wishy-washy. I miss you, if you change YOUR mind, I'm here waiting on YOU.....(why are you ? He broke your rules, he could have gotten you arrested, lost your car, home) and now you're rolling out the proverbial welcome mat....out of this YOU think....if I am kind, and loving and tell him just forget the pot? There is ALWAYS home - we love you, I miss you, I'll never stop - NEVER EVER.....You broke my heart, but still I am keeping a light on for you.

    PHOOEY ------He was WRONG - and you're still apologizing. KNOCK THAT OFF. Get tough.......and be a concrete statue outside for him with a Mother's heart inside for you - and NEVER EVER let him see you sweat.

    OH and then you go on to say you didn't want to inflame this any further.......INFLAME WHAT? Where is his HUGE apology? Okay - he's not living like you want him to....he moved out, he said he'll take care of himself. LET HIM SEE IF HE CAN........becuase if you're there to always pick him up? He's NEVER really going to depend on himself and always knows no matter how badly he messes up - "IT WILL BE OKAY, WE WILL FIX IT,"

    again - PHOOEY. HE messed up........HE FIXES IT.......YOU DID NOTHING WRONG. END OF STORY. And I say this with respect and love because these were the same words that were spoken to me (just not about pot) regarding my son.....and yup.....made me mad as blazes, but you know what? The more I bend? The more he bent me. The harder and steadfast I stood against how I WILL NOT BE TREATED? The less BS I have in my life, the more BS he creates for himself in his life - IF HE CHOOSES - he has CHOICES - , and eventually it will come around to bite him so hard - that he MAY JUST wake up and get his head out of his kiester. If not? I'm none the worse for wear because I'm not going through any more days like this - again. I dont' deserve it......I don't want it......I WILL NOT TOLERATE it.....I love my son, and I love my peace and quiet. Nothing changes that unless I allow it to. And if I allow it to? I do him NO FAVORS whatsoever on the fine art of growing up and becoming a man dependent on HIMSELF.......not me.

    Keep the 2 pager.......fold it up, tuck it away, date it.....and in about two months read what you wrote. Then take out anything that says I feel, I need, (all your I statements) and emotion - and you'll have a danged near perfect reply for this BS.

    Hugs & Love
    Star
     
  7. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Star - I am not sure if I should punch you or open a bottle of wine and toast to you.

    I am not quite there yet. This was probably the only communication I will have with my son before he is 400 miles away. He is heading for a fall - gotcha - but he isn't there yet. This was a last ditch effort to try to make him stop and think BEFORE he completes this act of rebellion. I know it's likely fruitless but I had to extend the lifeline. We had a really great relationship until June 2011, yes we had a few bumpy weeks when he was 16 (08) - but we spent a lot of time in counseling and he never gave us ANY trouble until this summer. Even this summer he was mostly OK if not a bit snide, he worked 50 hours a week and came home when he said he would.

    My home and my car were never at risk. He came home stoned (not driving) on June 1 and failed a drug test. The only drug test he has ever failed in the past 34 months of regular testing. And he admitted to being stoned. He wasn't driving and he didn't bring a stash home. Trust me, I searched his room and his things OFTEN -and I found plenty of things I wasn't meant to see (and am trying to unsee)- but nothing drug or substance related.

    He is trying to justify this by placing the blame on me. He texted most of his friends that his parents had forced him out because we are jerks. That's not the case. I needed to reiterate that this is HIS choice to leave. I am hoping to shake loose the part of his brain that responded to counseling. I am not rejecting him (yet) but I am drawing the line on a lifestyle that includes drugs and lying. He wants to claim his adulthood so he can smoke pot - not because we smother him. I get it. I know he is dying to succeed this semester to prove us wrong and nothing would make me happier than for him to be a success. I get what you are saying and if necessary, I will get there. But I needed - one last time - to let him know that we are not his problem. And I guess when he gets into trouble, I hope he calls us first. We have his best interests at heart and I pray he doesn't get too deeply into a situation of compounding errors. That was the point of drawing this line in the sand. Let him try it own his own and hopefully he will come to the realization that he screwed up.

    Just needed to give him a chance one last time before he leaves and it gets too far. I know it's his choice to take it too far and I won't stop him by caving in.

    And I hope he or his girlfriend let me know that he is alive once in a while. Otherwise, I will jump whenever the phone rings.

    I pray he comes around before any permanent damage is done. I'm not ready to give up hope but I am trying to be realistic and proactive. If he comes home-he goes into therapy period. No drugs verified by regular drug testing. If he can't abide that condition, he cannot come home.
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are very wise and showed a great deal of love and restraint in your text to your son. You left the door to communication open. It's up to him now to prove that he is going to succeed. Our difficult child chose to leave our house too when she could not follow our rules of no pot smoking or drinking. She moved in with a boy down the street whose parents said we were too strict and pot smoking was no big deal. That lasted three months until she decided she hated living there. This guy is now a heroin addict, so much for pot smoking being ok. Our difficult child got kicked out of college in her first semester for drugs and alcohol. I hope this does not happen to your son.

    I understand your fear about the drugs paraphenalia he purchased. That doesn't sound like a casual user, it sounds like he is selling. There is nothing you can do to stop or control him, he is an adult. That doesn't make it any easier for you I know. All you can do is stay strong and hope and pray he makes the right decisions.

    Nancy
     
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am going to side with you and against the crowd here. I think you did the right thing. I think stuff like this happens way more often than any parents want to admit during the college years. Keeping the dialogue open will be key. Since you guys have not always had a rocky relationship, I dont think he is going to be the next Columbian Drug Cartel. He may just be be stubborn enough to show you that he can do it by himself and that will be good. He will learn something about himself along the way and you will learn something about him along the way. I dont this is all doom and gloom.

    Hugs.
     
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think your letter response was perfect!! So what if you showed some feelings and that you love him. He needs to know that. My son is also 19 and is basically a mess and has a serious drug problem and just started at a sober house on Tuesday. We ended up kicking him out of the house a little over a year ago. It was awful. He was flagrantly disobeying all of our rules and then threatened me. My first reaction was to just wait until he contacted me and I knew that might take a while. I talked to a therapist I was seeing over these issues and she said.... no text him, not constantly but maybe once a day to let him know you are there and care about him. In a way it was a relief to me to know it was ok for me to do that, that I didn't need to come down hard and angry. I needed to stay firm about him being out of the house but I didn't have to stop loving him or letting him know I love him.

    So lots and lots has happened since then....several arrests, 2 weeks in jail, rehab, coming back, getting a job, losing a job and finally being homeless for a couple of weeks. During all these hard times he has come to us when he needed help and we have been very clear we will help him when he is trying to help himself but we won't give him cash and we will not do anything to enable his drug use. And the latest thing is I think being homeless was very hard and on his own he contacted and found himself a place in a sober living place... and yes we agreed to pay the rent until he gets a job.
    So really I think continuing to let him know you love him is a good thing.... and letting him know you will help when he wants to help himself is also a good thing. However you probably need to spend some time figuring out what you are willing and not willing to do for him. I think you have done a fabulous job so far.... but it is so easy to get caught up in helping that it is enabling and that you don't want to do.

    My suggestion would be in a few days to text him and ask him how things are going. He may not answer you but then at least you are continuing to reach out and leave the door open.

    Hugs.... this stuff is so so hard.
     
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